Wonderful news to wake up to today, Califone have a new album called villagers in the can and set for release on May 19th via Jealous Butcher Records. On the first single ‘Habsburg Jaw‘, Tim Rutili is sounding in fine form, still weaving that fascinating mix of melodic immediacy and skewed experimental pop – a sonic junk shop of the accessible and the avant garde.
Press release: With 25 years of Califone in his catalog (not to mention a variety of other projects, including alt rock heroes Red Red Meat), the Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based artist Tim Rutili knows well how to find that moment of awe and bliss even as things are falling apart. Part poet, part abstract painter, and always surrounded by a variety of hyper-talented collaborators (here including longtime cohorts Ben Massarella, Michael Krassner, Rachel Blumberg, and Brian Deck, as well as the likes of Nora O’Connor and Finom’s Macie Stewart), Rutili has always excelled at luring listeners through elusive lyrics, flashes of shadows and images coming together in disarming unity.
Part experimental indie and part ‘70s soft rock, Califone’s first record in three years reaches new levels of harmony, fragility, and confidence. Whether detailing aging goths retaining their identity through year-long spooky decorations (“Halloween”), an imagined conversation with an inbred monarch (“Habsburg Jaw”), or the conflicts between identity and technology (“Ox-Eye”), Villagers’ nine tracks spread out and luxuriate in the messy darkness of modern life.